Top 10 Apps for Learning Korean

Apps are a great way to either start studying Korean or supplement your classroom learning. There is a wealth of fun apps out there to help you translate, practice speaking, learn new phrases and even prepare for Korean language exams. But what are the best apps to help you learn Korean? Which ones should you download and why? 

LingoClass has the answers to all these questions and more! Based on years of experience teaching students how to speak, read and write Korean, we've built a list of our favourite Korean language apps. We've scored each of them on different elements so you can get a really good understanding of which one is best for you before buying it. In fact, many of them are actually free!

We hope you find our list useful. If you have any apps you'd like to recommend, please feel free to contact us and let us know!

Price: Free with a premium version available from £1.67 a month

10. Quizlet

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Quizlet is a clever little app that lets you create flashcards to help you study. These flashcards can be about anything you like but they're particularly useful for studying languages and testing yourself on material for exams or just things you keep forgetting. As the name suggests, you can even set up quizzes to test yourself or others on the content of your flashcards.

Another great feature of Quizlet is that you have access to many other people's flashcards and quizzes. For example, if you search 'learn the Korean alphabet', you will find lots of content created by other users that can help you reach this goal. In fact, LingoClass teachers regularly use this app to set our language students homework. The variety of features and ease of use make it one of the best apps out there for studying Korean.

Quizlet can be downloaded and used for free but you can also purchase a premium version with some extra features for £1.67 a month. Why not try the free version and if you like it consider upgrading?

Price: Free for 5 minutes a day, £9.49 a month for unlimited access.

9. Scripts

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Scripts is an app dedicated to helping students learn Asian alphabets. They have sections on Chinese, Japanese and Korean, all of which are designed to teach characters for 5 minutes a day, helping you become gradually more and more capable with very little effort.

The app itself is beautifully designed and simple to use. This somehow makes the experience easier to digest and is more akin to a mobile phone game than an intense language course app. This doesn't mean the content is not useful however, Scripts teaches hundreds of characters in rich detail and is a great app to download for the beginner or intermediate Korean language learner.

You can use Scripts for free up to 5 minutes a day to see if you like it. After this you will need to pay £9.49 a month for unlimited use but you can get a discounted rate for buying a whole year at once.

Price: Free

8. TenuGo Hangul

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TenuGo Hangul is an app dedicated entirely to reading and writing Hangul. It contains sections on the history of Hangul, tenses, writing blocks, handwriting and much more. Each section is rich in detail and is followed by a short quiz to test whether you have retained the information within.

 

While the Scripts app mentioned above is a good example of a beautifully designed, highly polished, professional app, TenuGo looks a lot more like it was developed by a student for students. It has a simple, textbook-like layout and contains a lot of information on each subject. Whether you are just starting to learn Korean or simply want to supplement your knowledge of Hangul with some history and theory, TenuGo is the app for you to download.

Tenugo is completely free to use, with the option of making a 1, 3 or 5 USD donation to help with the development of the app and remove advertising.

Price: Free

7. TOPIK One

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TOPIK One is a Korean learning app based around the TOPIK exam structure. It contains sections on vocabulary & grammar, reading, writing and listening. Each section contains exam style questions, complete with audio files, that you can test yourself against and evaluate your score. You get instant right/wrong feedback upon answering each question so it's very easy to keep track of where your strengths and weaknesses are.

While this  app is the best around for learning and testing yourself on TOPIK based content on the go, it does have a number of drawbacks. Firstly, the layout is a little dry and boring. It feels very much like an online test and not a fun, relaxing app. The audio files can also be difficult to download and use alongside the listening section. Finally, the app makes all its money through advertising so not only are there a lot of video adverts that pop at very inconvenient times, there is also no option to upgrade and get rid of them!

If you want more information about the TOPIK exam, how to study and where to book it, you can visit the LingoClass TOPIK Information Page.

6. Tandem

Price: Free

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The apps covered so far in this list are great for helping students learn phrases, characters and grammar but there is no substitute for practising speaking and listening by having conversations with real Korean native speakers. This can be very difficult to do if you don't live in Korea and/or don't have a Korean teacher to help you practice.

This is where Tandem comes in. Tandem is a language exchange community app that helps you meet and talk with native speakers of your target language. To use it all you need to do is sign up, enter the language(s) you're interested in learning and those you speak yourself. After this, you will be matched with people who speak your target language and want to learn yours. English is particularly popular but other languages such as French, German and Italian will also be sought after enough to give you more matches than you need. All you need to do is find the people you like talking with and take the conversation to WhatsApp, Facebook or wherever you see fit.

There really is no substitute for this other than finding real Korean native speakers to converse with. The app is completely free and, in our opinion, one of the best ways technology can help language learners to develop their skills and speak more naturally.

5. Talk to Me in Korean

Price: Free with a premium version available for £2.99 a year

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Talk to me in Korean is another classroom style app, containing lessons on Hangul, grammar, phrases and more. The Hangul sections are clear and easy to follow; the simplistic interface and app design make it informative and enjoyable to use. 

The rest of the content is available in a podcast type format, with lessons consisting of audio content from Korean teachers. These lessons cover a variety of interesting and useful topics but are perhaps better suited to the intermediate or advanced learner than a beginner. Video content is also available, where teachers take you through PowerPoint style lessons, covering certain elements of the language. The quality of these videos is high and the concepts are explained very well. If this is a style of learning you feel comfortable with, then Talk to Me in Korean is definitely the best place to find it.

The app itself is free but you can also purchase a premium version for £2.99 a year that removes all ads and allows you to access the content offline. Very useful for a morning commute or long plane ride!

Price: Free

4. Joongang Daily

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Joongang Daily is a Korean news app that has both Korean and English versions of the same story, meaning it can be used to read real news content in Korean and translate the passages or words you're not sure of. Not only is this an interesting and clever approach, it's actually extremely effective. Many language learners focus heavily on textbook exercises and exam papers and as a result can lack understanding of certain language styles and vocabulary. Joongang Daily uses a professional, journalistic style which allows learners to familiarise themselves with the language on a broader level as well as helping them keep up to date with Korean current affairs.

Since this approach requires a lot of flipping between Korean and English versions, it's definitely more useful for those experienced in reading Hangul and those with a firm grasp of Korean vocabulary and grammar. Beginners may find they can decipher parts of news stories, especially those with content relevant to their interests such as K-Pop or Korean drama.

Even if you can't understand the articles straight away, it can give you something to aim for once your knowledge of Hangul is sufficient to apply in this context. All in all, a great app to add to your phone or tablet.

Top Three

3. Learn Korean 

Phrasebook

Price: Free with an optional upgrade costing £4.99

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Learn Korean Phrasebook is aimed at helping people learn common phrases for everyday use in Korea. From asking somebody's name to trying to find the train station, it's all in there. Each phrase includes an audio recording to help you practice pronouncing and using the content and if you're really having trouble you can simply play the recording to someone and they will understand what you want.

While this app is technically aimed at travellers, it's also a great tool to help language learners pick up and use basic key phrases correctly. There are categories for transport, food, general conversation and more. The vocabulary included here really is the building blocks of the language and for that reason this app has made our top 3 recommended list. 

The phrasebook contains hundreds of useful phrases for free but you also have the option to add 2000+ new phrases for a one of payment of £4.99

Top Three

2. K-Phrases

Price: Free with an upgrade costing £2.99.

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LingoClass has been teaching Korean language learners for years and because of that we know many of you also love using K-Pop and Korean dramas to develop your language skills! This is something the makers of K-Phrases have picked up on, leading them to design a language app based entirely around clips from Korean drama shows.

Clips come in different categories such as love, angry and personal, meaning you can quickly become familiar with many common idioms and phrases used on Korean TV. The clips also show many of your favourite actors and actresses speaking the lines with emotion so you can see how real people use them in day to day interaction.

This app is definitely the most fun on this list and if you love Korean drama or have been thinking about getting into it then this is definitely the app for you. It's worth noting that it does include some swearing so perhaps better suited for adults rather than children. Much of the app's content is free but you have the option to upgrade for a one of cost of £2.99, which will add additional content and remove all advertising. Unfortunately this app is currently only available on the iPhone so Android users will have to look elsewhere.

Top Three

1. NAVER Korean Dictionary

Price: Free

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Translation

One of the most useful tools any Korean language learner HAS to have in their arsenal is a good Korean dictionary. Physical books can be useful for this purpose but the development of technology now means that everyone can carry an advanced Korean to English dictionary with them wherever they go.

NAVER is widely regarded as the best Korean dictionary app out there. It contains a thousands of words, idioms and phrases complete with audio pronunciation and explanation. It works offline and there's even a translation feature provided by Papago built into the app, meaning you can translate whole passages of text if desired. In short, it does everything a good dictionary app should do and more.

Translation is an essential part of language learning. It allows you to self study and means you can teach yourself to understand things without somebody looking over your shoulder. If you download NAVER Korean Dictionary, you will be able to do this as many times as needed for free. What more could anyone ask for?

These apps are great for helping you learn Korean but nothing can substitute face to face teaching from an experienced teacher. 

If you're serious about learning Korean or just want to understand how our lessons work, why not book a trial with us today?

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